How to Stay Fit While Traveling for Work, According to the CEO of ClassPass (Video)
Although savvy business travelers are used to hopping on a plane any day of the week, the constant change of schedule and lack of nutritious options can deter even the most well-intentioned professional from keeping their health in check along the way. Thankfully, easily accessible workouts through on-demand streaming services and group fitness classes that can be found on scheduling platforms like ClassPass make it easier to find a sweat session wherever work takes you.
Kicking off the new year, the app, which is a subscription membership service to a variety of fitness studios, is offering a free one-month trial for new members, giving them access to its 30,000 participating locations in over 20 countries. To get some real insight as to how a business traveler would use the company's 2020 promotion, Travel + Leisure spoke with ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman.
From planning ahead to using a boxing class as a networking opportunity, Lanman shared his tips and tricks with us to show how he keeps himself accountable regardless of his calendar.
Travel + Leisure: Assuming that time management is key with your busy schedule, how do you prepare in advance to ensure you’ll stay healthy and well while traveling?
Fritz Lanman: "I stick to a pretty rigorous routine, the most important features of which are booking workouts in advance, working out early in the morning, and trying to make every workout social. I book workouts ahead of time because I find that it’s much more motivating to make a commitment a few days in advance when you’re feeling inspired, instead of right before a workout when you likely want to stay in bed. That’s especially true because I always work out early in the morning, and it can be a bit painful to wake up, especially while traveling and on a different time zone. However, I find that if I don’t work out first thing, the day gets away from me, so it’s a commitment I make to keep myself on track. Finally, I always try to make it social and get my friends, business contacts or coworkers to join me for a class.
One thing that has been really helpful in staying healthy on the road is that ClassPass is now available in almost 30 countries, all with one membership. When I get to a new city, I’ll pop open the app and update to 'current location.' The app has a feature that will make recommendations based on what kind of workouts you like and have done recently, so I will usually start with those. You can also filter by type of workout, distance, time of day, and even amenities such as whether a studio has showers if you need to head to a meeting immediately afterwards."
What’s one specific item you always travel with that helps you stay on track with healthy habits while traveling? Why?
"I always pack a pair of lightweight sneakers and workout clothes, even if I don’t think I’ll find time to work out. It’s a good reminder to prioritize my health, and more importantly if a fitness studio owner asks me to stop by, then I’m ready to go. I also try to bring healthy food with me when I travel, namely lean protein like grilled chicken or turkey or bison burgers and raw veggies like celery or carrots."
What’s your go-to airport or airplane food? What foods do you avoid?
"I try my hardest to avoid drinking beer and eating airplane food. The food they give you on airplanes has insane calorie counts and it’s full of simple carbs, salt, and processed ingredients. Instead, I bring my own healthy food, or in a pinch I’ll seek out airport stores with beef jerky and string cheese, which is still much more nutritious than airplane food!"
When it comes to flying, do you have any specific routine?
"Airplanes are one of my most productive places. When I’m in the air, I have minimal distractions and can take care of tasks that would otherwise steal time from moments with my wife and daughter, and time enjoying my favorite activities such as fly fishing and skiing. Before pulling away from the gate, I store emails and docs offline so that I can keep cranking on them, even if the airplane Wi-Fi is minimal. By 10,000 feet, I’ve already caught up on important emails or memos, and I am able to get through a lot of the smaller tasks on my checklist. If I do need a bit of downtime, I’ll take the time for whatever book I’m into at the moment."
What’s your favorite type of exercise to fit in while traveling for business?
"I’ve been super into boxing, treadmill, and bootcamp classes lately. And I mix classes with weight training at a gym two days a week. We recently brought the national chain Rumble’s 12 locations onto ClassPass, and I did three classes last week in NYC — two boxing and one of their “Train” concepts which is half treadmill and half strength training. It’s just a great workout. In San Francisco, I’m a huge fan of BodyRok or Core40 for reformer, Golden Gate Crossfit, Barry’s Bootcamp, and Crunch if I just want gym time!"
Overall, what’s your approach when it comes to maintaining a balance while traveling for work – especially when networking events may get in the way?
"Network over a workout! A lot of my work involves meeting with fitness entrepreneurs and people in the same industry, so they tend to be really active people who already work out regularly. Instead of meeting people over drinks, I will invite them along for a boxing class or have them join me for 45 minutes of cardio. My advice to other professionals would be to do the same. Invite a colleague to a yoga class or plan a walk through a park with coffee instead of meeting someone in a coffee shop. You will feel much more active during the workday, and your meetings will likely be more memorable for the people you meet!"
Any advice for those who want to keep their healthy habits intact while traveling but don’t know where to start?
"If you already have a genre of class you love such as cycling or HIIT, use ClassPass to find a studio in the city where you’re heading. Your previous experience with the genre will help you feel comfortable off the bat, and you will get to meet a few locals and see a neighborhood you may not have previously visited. It’s a perfect way to try something new while still having some familiarity with the workout.
Finally, invite friends or coworkers to class with you. Our app has a feature that lets you invite friends on ClassPass (as well as those who haven’t joined yet!) to join you for a class. There is nothing more motivating than knowing that you have people counting on you to join them for a class, and the workout itself ends up being more fun, which will make you more likely to want to keep working out."